Saturday, April 27, 2019 was the first Drive Electric Earth Day event in Satellite Beach at the Schechter Center. This was similar to our event we do every year in September where we give ride and drives in our cars around the block as well as answer all of the questions we can about driving electric. This time we were able to be a part of the Earth Day event the City of Satellite Beach was already planning. Since we are the ones that drive the cars every day to work, school, shopping, and visiting friends and family we are the ones to best answer real world questions about driving electric cars. We had 22 cars show up from many different makes: Tesla, Nissan, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, and BMW. One of the highlights of the event was a 21 foot center console boat that was on a trailer being towed by a Tesla Model X, the all electric SUV with a 5,000 pound towing capacity. You can find a video showing it being towed away in the album link below.
We talked to nearly 200 people and gave 21 test rides around the block. Everyone was surprised to find out how much power and acceleration every one of the cars we brought had. Even the low end models had faster off-the-line takeoff power than most normal gasoline powered cars. Most of the people we talked to agreed that their next car would be electric or a plug in hybrid.
We had our monthly meetup on the 2nd Sunday of the month instead of the first so we could have our visitors from Norway meet with us. They found out about us from the EV News Daily podcast. If you haven’t subscribed to it yet we highly recommend it! They just got their new Tesla Model 3 and their child is a student at FIT. Since they were visiting FIT anyway we thought it would be the perfect time to meet up and talk about electric cars and charging stations. They introduced us to a company in Norway called Zaptec that builds smart charging stations that can split up the power as more cars plug in. This is different from running a dedicated circuit from the breaker box to each individual charger. This way with Zaptec chargers you only need the one, big circuit and as each car plugs in it will slow down the charge to the other cars so you can have many more cars charging that would normally be allowed. This makes the most sense for apartment and condo complexes. Thai Thai House at Hammock Landing was a great spot to have our meetup and we’ll be back there again in the future. We agreed that next month we should meet at Ginger & Garlic in Rockledge.
We were invited for a 5th year in a row to bring some of our personal electric cars to the Earth Day event held at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. We got to park our cars and set up our tent and table in the grass right next to the rocket park. Hundreds of visitors got a chance to sit inside, look around, and ask us all of their questions about our cars. As a bonus, the Space X Falcon Heavy launch was scrubbed from a previous day to today so we were able to watch it from inside the complex. The sonic booms could be heard as the two side boosters came back to land at the cape. Showing the benefits of driving on sunshine with solar panels on our roofs and more renewable energy getting added to the grid every day is one of the main points we like to talk about for Earth Day. Here’s some photos taken during the event:
Today we set up our personal EVs at the BPS Varsity Car Show that was held at the American Muscle Car Museum benefiting the schools’ automotive programs around Brevard County Florida. The trophies were all made by the students and looked VERY COOL. We were surprised to find out they even created some trophies specifically for the ELECTRIC CAR category! First place went to a Chevy Bolt and second place went to a Chevy Volt. There were a lot of attendees as well as classic and muscle car owners that came over to ask us all the usual questions about driving electric. After explaining everything the usual sentiment was that their next car was definitely going to be electric. One classic car owner even apologized to us for his car only getting 8 MPG! Lots of fun was had by all and many people learned a lot about electric cars. Here’s a link to the full photo album: https://photos.app.goo.gl/su3ruTBYRrWwUgx56
Today was the first Sunday of the month, January 6, 2019. Also the first Sunday of the new year!
We met at the Cottage Irish Pub in the Eau Gallie section of Melbourne. We went over a few things for the club, talked about how to submit your photo and blurb for the member bios page, delivered another blue polo shirt to a new member and shared some EV news. Most importantly we all got to meet the our newest member with their brand new Tesla Model 3.
We have an upcoming event on January 24 for our local Sierra Club chapter in Rockledge. We’ll bring as many different makes and models as possible to show everyone all the differences and what to look for when shopping for an EV. We’ll also give a presentation about the club and how we’ve grown to over 100 members and over 100 electric vehicles.
We are planning to do another large EV car show in Satellite Beach for Earth Day. Here’s some of the preliminary information about that event: https://driveelectricearthday.org
We were invited to bring some EVs again to the Family Christmas Extravaganza in Palm Bay held at the Fred Poppe Regional Park. Here’s a good description of the event from their website:
“This is a 100% FREE community event featuring live entertainment, free popcorn, cotton candy, snow cones, hot dogs, and drinks. Free activities include bounce houses, rock climbing, train rides, horse rides, face painting, giveaways, and SO much more!”
We only had two vehicles this time compared to the eight we had last year. It was a 2018 Nissan Leaf with the 150 mile range and a Chevy Bolt with 238 mile range. As always we had a great time answering all of the questions everyone had as they walked by to get to the petting zoo and pony rides set up just behind us.
There were well over 1000 or 2000 attendees so we must have talked to more than 200 people about the benefits of driving electric. If we can help at least one person think better about or even consider an electric car for their next vehicle that is a big win. We explained how the cost of batteries has come down 85% in the past 8 years so it won’t be very long until electric vehicles will cost as much or even less than gasoline cars. We also explained how to find used EVs to get into a daily electric car without spending very much money.
NDEW 2018 was a great success! We kicked off the event at 10 am with City Councilwoman Mindy Gibson reading the proclamation signed by the Mayor Frank Cantino. Over 50 EVs of 14 unique models were on display, including electric conversions, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles. We had the NASA Lunar Rover on display to remind everyone that it was also an electric vehicle. Everyone appreciated the food trucks and the raffle prizes donated by the exhibitors. The weather was perfect if not a tad hot. We had plenty of pop up tents for everyone to hide from the sun while talking about EVs.
Special thanks to the City of Satellite Beach for hosting the event with us at the Schechter Center and of course the national sponsors Plug In America, Sierra Club, Electric Auto Association, and Nissan.
We would like to recognize and thank Boy Scouts Troop 772 who helped with the set-up and also our student volunteers who ran the registration tent.
This year’s exhibitors included: (in alphabetical order)
BMW of Melbourne
Citizens Climate Lobby
Dusty Joe’s Smokin Eats
League of Women Voters
Nissan of Melbourne
Porsche of Melbourne
Satellite Beach Sustainability Department
Solar Energy Systems
It’s that time again. Time for the annual, nationwide, grassroots event known as National Drive Electric Week. Electric Vehicle (EV) owners all over the USA are organizing events at shopping centers, civic centers, city halls, and public parks where real owners bring their personal cars, motorcycles, bicycles, and even electric skateboards to show to the public. The events are free and open to everyone curious about electric transportation to come out and ask every question they can and get answers from actual EV owners that drive electric to work and school every day. Not only can you ask questions but there will be many different makes and models ready for anyone to take a ride or sometimes drive (if the owner is comfortable allowing others to drive their car) around the block so everyone can see just how great the experience of quiet, smooth, and fun to drive can be in an electric vehicle. We should have several of the brand new Tesla Model 3 for everyone to see as well.
Our event hosted in partnership with the City of Satellite Beach will be Saturday, September 15 from 10 am – 5 pm. We will have food trucks and free raffle prizes drawn every 15 minutes – you must be present to win. Please register to attend at our official event page here: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1235
We met this month at the Crafty Crab at Hammock Landing and went over everything needed to get ready for National Drive Electric Week. The main idea is we are in SERIOUS PUSH MODE for getting the word out. Tell everyone you know to sign up to attend at our official event page here: https://driveelectricweek.org/event.php?eventid=1235
We also printed some flyers for everyone to hand out at every place you visit and also ask if you can hang them up. You can download and print the flyer from here if you want to print a few of them yourself to help get the word out:
Next, two of our members will record the radio spot at WFIT to play the two weeks before the event. So look for a post about that in our September monthly meetup post.
We also talked about setting up a weekly meeting every Thursday for the planning of NDEW. This will be a meeting to make sure tasks are getting taken care of and we are all on the same page.
We had a visitor join us with questions about getting their very first car – and to get the best deal on an electric one! The advice was to go to cars.com or carvana and search for used EVs with the search terms to get the newest car within your budget to get the most bells and whistles. The battery tech is evolving with every update such as the 2016 Chevy Volt and 2018 Nissan Leaf so that’s important to research. It’s also good to measure your daily drive to see how much range you need to cover your driving habits. A plug in hybrid is always a good choice since it can use gasoline if the battery ever runs out for those that just can’t get over their range anxiety. We can tell you that range anxiety isn’t a real thing since everyone in our club that drives a pure electric car never worries about their range except in very rare cases.
One of our members finally remembered to take a picture of the Tesla Supercharger voltage/electric info label for the actual voltage/amps rating. It’s 410 volts and 270 amps. That’s a lot of juice! No wonder the Superchargers are the fastest chargers out there today.
For the first Sunday of July we decided to meet at the old Moon Hut, now La Fiesta in Cape Canaveral. Since the city has decided to install FREE to use charging stations at City Hall, the Public Library, and Manatee Park, we wanted to take some photos to show them just how much extra business they are bringing into town. This is one of the main ideas every business and apartment/condo owner needs to know. If you install charging stations you will attract more customers. These customers will also end up spending more money at your business/restaurant because they will wait around a little longer than others to wait for their car to charge. This means they might buy an extra coffee or get dessert where other customers would have normally left already. Then, once your competitors are also installing charging stations then you can install FREE to use stations to attract more customers than your competitors. Even if a car was plugged in for 4 hours it would only use about $2 of electricity. So by giving away that $2 you would get back much more than that in extra business. This is way better than the money you would spend for advertising and marketing and get even better results! Once you put your charger on plugshare.com EV drivers will find you and single you out over your competitors – especially if planning a trip and need to stay at your hotel. They will always pick one with a place to charge while they sleep. For more information about charging stations check our info page here.